Clinicians from the Great North Air Ambulance Service say more money will help them reach hundreds more severely sick and injured people in the North East.
The charity currently offers air ambulance services across the region, mainly during the day. Now they want to turn this into a 24/7 service, and will need an additional £310,000 to make it happen.
In 2015, in partnership with North East Ambulance Service, the charity started providing rapid response car service, staffed with a doctor and paramedic on Saturday and Sunday nights. This was expanded last year to include two more days a week.
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The Great North Air Ambulance Service is reaching out to the public to help them raise the funds so that they can launch the Critical Care 24/7 Appeal.
Jamie Walsh, GNAAS paramedic, said: “Four nights is not enough. We want to be there for even more people.
“We want to be able to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for you to know that the time of day, or day of the week does not determine the level of care you receive in a life-threatening situation.”
The teams rapid response cars are equipped with the same kit as the helicopters, including blood and plasma supplies that can make a critical difference to a patients care on scene.
Former patient James Kavanagh, 22, from Newcastle, was treated by the charity’s rapid response car on Christmas Day, 2015 is supporting the Critical Car 24/7 Appeal.
James sustained multiple injuries in a head-on crash while travelling home after visiting his family. His mother Elizabeth was also injured in the incident. He said: “We’ll be forever thankful. Life is so precious and you just have to treasure it and those closest to you.
“We are supporting the campaign because it means more people like us can be rescued, and lives saved.”
Last year the service responded to 524 call-outs in it’s current four day format. These calls included 140 assaults, 98 road traffic incidents and 95 cardiac arrests.
To support the campaign, visit: gna.as/247-appeal